Immigrants and Refugees in our Community
Would you like to learn more about immigrants and refugees in San Francisco?
For the past several months, St. Ignatius Parish has sought to better understand the challenges facing those in our community directly impacted by their status as documented or undocumented immigrants. This process has continued to evolve as we’ve sought ways for how we might assist those sisters and brothers who find themselves in this situation. After a thoughtful discernment process among a wide range of interested parishioners, the parish has taken some initial steps to that end:
• Met with our sister parish, St. Agnes, and several other congregations in the Bay Area to learn about their experiences as sanctuary parishes. (Note that “sanctuary” is currently understood as offering accompaniment of immigrants and refugees in their many needs, advocacy on their behalf, and/or shelter.) A feature on St. Agnes Parish ran in America magazine: http://tinyurl.com/y9ac23fc
• Initiated conversations with Faith in Action – Bay Area, an interfaith organization that works on social justice, immigration, displacement and other causes. See below for more on Faith in Action. Through this collaboration we’ve already identified one specific family with immediate needs. This particular family - a single mom and five children - is seeking asylum from an abusive situation in Mexico. They are currently homeless and, with St. Agnes Parish, we’re hoping to find a way to help them find housing. And, there are so many others.
• Learned of statewide legislative efforts to ease the impact to immigrants and refugees, including Senate Bill 54, which ensures that no state or local resources are diverted to fuel any attempt by the federal government to carry out mass deportations and that our schools, our hospitals, and our courthouses are safe spaces for everyone in our community.
What you can do?
• Pray for those among us who are facing the breakup of family and/or displacement. Pray for how we might identify with them and help them in their plight.
• Learn about Senate Bill 54, the California Values Act, now moved to the California State Assembly. Find out whom to contact to help assure passage of this act that serves to protect immigrants from aggressive deportation.
• Consider attending an upcoming Accompaniment Training by Faith in Action on Wednesday, June 21, 6:30 pm at Or Shalom Jewish Community, 625 Brotherhood Way.
• Follow the developments on the St. Ignatius Facebook Page as we seek ways to assist those in most need.
• Check out the Ignatian Solidarity Network, which can be found here: https://ignatiansolidarity.net/
• Join in the Committee working on this cause. For information and to get involved, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Faith in Action Bay Area
Faith In Action is a network of faith communities, community groups, and schools committed to ensuring that the dignity of all members of our community is upheld. Through leadership development, civic engagement, and lifting up of our faith values we strive to make sure that every person receives the respect, justice, and opportunity they deserve.
Through our personal and collective stories, we are witness to how our political, educational, justice, etc. systems are fundamentally broken and do not live up to our collective values. It is when people are organized and become agents of their own futures that the systems can be transformed.
In the last years, we have worked on immigrant rights, housing justice, the elimination of violence and mass incarceration from our communities. In 2016, we registered hundreds of new voters, talked directly with over 20,000 voters, and educated tens of thousands of voters across San Francisco and the Peninsula.
We are part of the PICO National Network, which works in 17 states and 150 cities and is the largest faith-based organizing network in the country.